Articles

Gentleness with the Questioner
Author : Dr. Mohammad Al-Hunaiti
Date Added : 23-08-2023

Gentleness with the Questioner

 

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

'A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle (PBUH), reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "'A'isha, verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness that which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness)." {Transmitted by Muslim}. The Messenger (PBUH) also said:" Verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness that which he does not confer upon severity." {Transmitted by Abu Dawoud}.

 

Based on these noble Prophetic guidelines, the General Iftaa' Department in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is committed to interacting with its audience of questioners, foreign and domestic, by providing its religious rulings (Fatwas) with compassion and mercy. Moreover, the Department endeavors to offer extra counselling and sincere advice, while maintaining utmost respect for the questioner's individuality, regardless of their status or educational level, and ensuring the confidentiality of their information.

This wise policy, pursued by the General Iftaa' Department, and its approach characterized by gentleness towards its audience of questioners, is evident across all the tools and channels used by the Department to provide religious rulings to the inquirers. This applies through telephone communications, personal interviews, and electronic messages facilitated by the Department's official website.

 

The Approach adopted by the Department cannot be otherwise, as it is guided by the noble Prophetic guidance. The Prophet, peace be upon him, emphasized through his words and actions the importance of gentleness in dealing with people. His Prophetic teachings necessitate that anyone who is engaged in calling to Allah should make gentleness a path for their mission. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." {An-Nahil, 125}.Furthermore, the Prophet, peace be upon him, was keen on advising his family to adopt gentleness in their interactions with people. We see him advising his wife Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, by saying, "O Aisha, be gentle! Be cautious of being harsh and vulgar." {Transmitted by Bukhari). He also tells her, "O Aisha, show gentleness, for whenever kindness is in something, it adorns it; and when it is taken out from something, it leaves it disgraced." {Transmitted by Ahmad}.This Prophetic guidance underscores that gentleness is an educational matter, one that parents should instill in their children. A child who grows up in a home filled with love, kindness, compassion, and tolerance will become a compassionate and forgiving individual in society. On the other hand, a child raised in an environment of harshness, violence, and negativity will likely display aggression and cruelty in the future. This is what is known as domestic violence, a phenomenon that child and women's rights organizations strongly oppose.

 

Certainly, domestic violence can give rise to what is known as school violence, then university violence, and eventually societal violence. Therefore, gentleness, especially when practiced by those who call to the path of Allah, is crucial for the success of their mission and for people rallying around them. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee."{Al-Emran, 3:159}. In this noble verse, there is a wise directive for every caller to make gentleness a guide to reach people's hearts. People tend to accept and gather around those who treat them with gentleness, and they listen to them. Conversely, those who are harsh, belittle others, and behave in an unkind manner push people away from them. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Indeed, there are vessels among the vessels of Allah on Earth. The vessels of your Lord are the hearts of His righteous servants. And the most beloved of them to Him are the softest and most tender ones." {Transmitted by At-Tabarani}.

 

Indeed, the Prophet, peace be upon him, was a great example of applying the principle of gentleness in dealing with those he called to Islam, both in his words and actions. In the authentic narrations, Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a Bedouin man urinated in the mosque. The companions were about to reprimand him, but the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Do not interrupt him." Then, he called for a bucket of water and poured it over the area. {Transmitted by Bukhari}.

Another example is the story of Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrated: "A young man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, give me permission to commit adultery.' The people raised their voices and said, 'Stop! Stop!' But the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, 'Come close.' The young man approached and sat in front of the Prophet. The Prophet, peace be upon him, asked him, 'Would you like that for your mother?' He replied, 'No.' The Prophet then asked, 'Would you like that for your daughter?' He replied, 'No.' The Prophet continued, 'Would you like that for your sister?' He replied, 'No.' The Prophet asked again, 'Would you like that for your aunt?' He replied, 'No.' The Prophet finally said, 'Likewise, people do not like that for their mothers, daughters, sisters, or aunts. So, dislike for them what you dislike for yourself, and wish for them what you wish for yourself.' The young man said, 'O Messenger of Allah, supplicate to Allah to purify my heart.' The Prophet placed his hand on the young man's chest and said, 'O Allah, forgive his sin, purify his heart, and guard his chastity.' After that, the young man did not look at anything sinful." {Transmitted by At-Tabarani}.

 

Observing these two practical examples, one marvels at the actions of the Chosen One, peace be upon him, how he did not reprimand or harm any of them through word or deed. Instead, he advised the noble Companions not to harm or mistreat them in any way.

 

In the story of Muawiyah ibn Al-Hakam Al-Sulami, may Allah be pleased with him, there is a clear example of the Prophet's gentle treatment of the ignorant. Muawiyah narrates: "While I was praying with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, a man from the people sneezed, so I said, 'May Allah have mercy on you!' The people gave me disapproving looks. I said, " What is wrong with you that you are looking at me?'' They began striking their thighs with their hands, and when I saw that they were trying to make me silent, I remained quiet. When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, finished his prayer, I had never seen a teacher better than him. He did not scold, hit, or insult me." The Prophet, peace be upon him, then said, "In this prayer, nothing of the talk of people is permissible; it is only glorification, magnification, and the recitation of the Qur'an." {Narrated by Muslim}.

 

Indeed, there are even more remarkable instances, and one of the greatest examples is the famous incident that took place on the day of the Conquest of Mecca. The Prophet, peace be upon him, stood at the door of the Kaaba with the leaders of the Quraysh in front of him. He was the victorious conqueror, and they were the ones who had spared no effort in fighting against him, opposing him, and expelling him from his beloved city. Despite all this, he stood before them and asked, "What do you think I should do with you?" They responded, "You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother." He then said, "Go, for you are free." {The Sirah of Ibn Hisham, Vol. 2, Page 412}.

 

Absolutely, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, did not resort to killing, torturing, seeking revenge, scolding, or admonishing in a harsh manner. His character was marked by mercy, forgiveness, and gentleness. Therefore, anyone who delves into the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, should strive to emulate his approach. This approach rests on kindness, gentleness, and inviting people to the way of Allah the Almighty with wisdom and fair preaching.

 

In the context of discussing the qualities that a Mufti (Islamic jurist) or a caller to Allah should possess, the story of the Hadith recorded by Imam Muslim in Sahih comes to mind. It narrates the story of a man who had killed ninety-nine people and sought repentance. He inquired about the most knowledgeable person on earth and was directed to a monk. However, this monk was not qualified to guide him to Allah, so he scolded and berated the man, telling him that there was no chance of repentance for him. The man's desperation led him to kill the monk, making his tally of killings a hundred. Later, a spark of guidance illuminated his heart, and he earnestly desired to repent. He asked again for guidance to the most knowledgeable person on earth, and this time he was directed to a knowledgeable scholar. He confessed his sins and the atrocities he had committed, asking whether there was any hope for him to repent. The scholar, fully aware of Allah's vast mercy, responded with words that reflected his understanding of the extent of God's compassion: "Who stands between you and the mercy of Allah? Go to such and such land; there are people there who worship Allah. Join them in worship, and do not return to your land, for it is an evil place." Upon hearing this, the man set out on a path of sincere repentance. However, before he could complete his journey, Allah took his soul.

 

Certainly, it is essential for anyone who is responsible for issuing religious verdicts/rulings to listen attentively to the inquirer and make them feel valued and respected. This is especially crucial since the individual is seeking guidance on matters pertaining to their faith. The one giving the Fatwa should show respect and consideration, acknowledging the importance of the person's question. After attentively listening, the Mufti should provide a clear and accurate answer to the question, guiding the inquirer towards what is beneficial for them both in the short and long term. All of these actions fall under the general principle conveyed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his saying: "Religion is sincere advice." {Transmitted by Bukhari}.

 

And all perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

 

 

 

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Summarized Fatawaa

If husband doesn`t pray, but wife does, is their marriage contract considered valid or not?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah`s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
Not observing daily prayers is a grave sin, but doesn`t invalidate a person`s marriage contract. However, we advise you to save your husband from hellfire by convincing him to observe the prescribed prayers. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

Allah The Almighty Made marrying up to four women lawful, but human beings prohibit that with their own land laws. What is the position of Sharia on this?

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
What Allah has made lawful, human beings can`t make it unlawful. However, taking the decision to marry up to four women requires material and physical abilities, in addition to having the courage to make such a decision. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

Is it permissible for a woman to ride a taxi without a Mahram(unmarriageable kin) in order to attend a gathering of knowledge?

It is permissible for the woman to pursue the knowledge that she needs in order to perform the religious requirements due on her if there was nobody to teach her at home, provided that there is no temptation involved. Moreover, we don`t recommend that she rides a taxi without a Mahram although such an act isn`t from the forbidden Khulwah(seclusion).

Is it permissible to divide the Aqeeqah amongst one`s brothers and family?

Giving a portion of the Aqeeqah, even a small one, to the poor and needy is obligatory, and if one`s brothers and family are among the needy then, they are more entitled to it, and this way it is a charity and an observation of kinship ties. However, if they aren`t needy then, it is permissible to give them from the Aqeeqah after giving the poor and needy their share.